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Oklahoma court could face impeachment

EPA Lawsuit Oklahoma

Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A member of the Oklahoma House drafted a resolution Wednesday seeking the impeachment of state Supreme Court justices who granted a delay of execution to two death row inmates.

Republican state Rep. Mike Christian told The Associated Press that the five justices engaged in a "willful neglect of duty" when they granted stays of execution Monday to Clayton Lockett and Charles Warner, both of whom were scheduled to be executed this month.

Lockett and Warner, who aren't challenging their convictions, have filed a civil lawsuit seeking the source of the drugs used to execute them. Pending the resolution of that lawsuit, they asked for a stay of execution.

The Court of Criminal Appeals has said it couldn't weigh in on the delay of execution because it didn't have the power or the authority, so the high court said a "rule of necessity" led to its decision Monday. Under the state constitution, the Supreme Court handles civil cases while the Court of Criminal Appeals takes those involving inmates.

"This is a case of our state's judges inserting their personal biases and political opinions into the equation," said Christian, a former Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper.

An impeachment effort would have no impact on the current proceedings, which has put the state's two highest courts at odds. Attorney General Scott Pruitt claims Oklahoma is facing a "constitutional crisis," but the high court's action is a victory for the inmates and their lawyers, who have successfully used questions about drug secrecy to at least temporarily shut down Oklahoma's death chamber.

While courts in Missouri and Texas have rejected claims that secretive death row procedures could expose inmates to painful executions, Lockett and Warner benefited by bypassing the Court of Criminal Appeals and taking their plea directly to the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

Gov. Mary Fallin halted Lockett's execution to ensure he won't be put to death before his day in court, but complains the state Supreme Court strayed from a mandate that it handle only civil matters when it issued its own order stopping executions over the drug question.

"There is no reasonable rationale of this being anywhere near the realm of a civil case," said Rep. Aaron Stiles, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. He complained that the state Supreme Court, which often strikes down legislative initiatives as unconstitutional, has crossed a line by granting a stay of execution.

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corridorsales April 24 2014 at 8:47 AM

Murderers should die in the same manner they killed their victims. We need a law that does not allow attorneys to be judges or politicians. Also, any law enacted by the majority of the voting citizens should not be reviewed or struck down by any judge.

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2 replies
lotekno corridorsales April 24 2014 at 9:15 AM

A judge has to know the law, as well as politicians (law makers), so where do you propose we get them from, a construction job?

Flag Reply 0 rate up
chris44107 corridorsales April 24 2014 at 9:16 AM

Unconstitutional - no cruel or unusual punishment.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
Michael J April 24 2014 at 8:33 AM

Have a firing squad then.

Flag Reply +6 rate up
1 reply
phil Michael J April 24 2014 at 8:37 AM

Good Ole American made, Hemp Rope. Problem solved. Next.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
TERRY April 24 2014 at 8:03 AM

bunch of dam crooks!!!

Flag Reply +4 rate up
Mike April 24 2014 at 7:28 AM

Ok so now it makes a difference where the drugs comes from ??? You have been sentenced to death for a crime that probably involved someone else's death, did it matter where you got your gun, knife etc ? I hear this arguement IE: "cruel and unusal punishment", Hmmm what about the victims "punishment" at the hands of the criminal, enough already DIE .

Flag Reply +6 rate up
Donald April 24 2014 at 9:29 AM

Use the same drug used to put down large farm animals, ie. horses. If it good enough for those noble beasts it's damn well good enough for these animals.

Flag Reply +6 rate up
Connie April 24 2014 at 9:31 AM

Perhaps I'm callous or insensitive, but WHY is it "unusual pain and suffering" or inhumane treatments to execute someone who has deliberately taken the life of innocent men,women,children and even babies? Weren't THOSE people victims of the same thing? Why should the convicts even have the right to question what drugs are used? All of a sudden these big, brave men are afraid? Had they thought about their actions and the consequensces of them, they wouldn't be in this position! Eliminate lethal injections altogether and return to the gas chamber, electric chair or hanging. As for the Supreme Court Justices, if their loved one was one of the victims of these brutes, would their feelings and actions have been the same? Maybe they could use a 'refresher course' in what their responsibilities are vs those of the Court of Crimianl Appeals!! The people of Oklahome deserve better than what these Justices have done!

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rdmdmn April 24 2014 at 9:32 AM

If they are worried about the drugs, why don't they just ask for a rope or a bullet?

Flag Reply +4 rate up
davidbiz0303 April 24 2014 at 2:03 AM

Hmmm..."judges inserting their personal biases and political opinions into the equation," ...Now where have I heard evidence of that recently?....

Flag Reply +10 rate up
1 reply
joan davidbiz0303 April 24 2014 at 2:18 AM

Hmmm? You referring to Sotomayer on our American Supreme Court inserting her personal opinion in her dissent on the recent affirmative action case.

Flag Reply +5 rate up
2 replies
Oscar joan April 24 2014 at 3:27 AM

How about Clarence Thomas never having an opinion on anything? What a waste. Replace him with somebody who wants to work.

Flag +3 rate up
Brian joan April 24 2014 at 3:55 AM

No, moron. Referring to the "Let the corporations, the Kochsuckers and Rove buy America" decisions by the Supine ("Roll me over in the clover and do it again.") court.

Flag +2 rate up
rstrickland April 24 2014 at 1:47 AM

Truth is, just about EVERY politician and judge should be impeached. They are ALL corrupt and out of control!

Flag Reply +9 rate up
quickfab April 24 2014 at 9:34 AM

Why not just shoot the scumbags and get it over with.

Flag Reply +5 rate up
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